ACT Releases Report Showing 60% of High School Seniors Not College-ready

August 29, 2012

On August 22, ACT released, The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012. The annual report focuses on the scores earned by graduating seniors who took the ACT college and career readiness exam-this year a record 52 percent of the U.S. graduating class.

More than a fourth (28 percent) of ACT-tested 2012 graduates did not meet any of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading and science, suggesting they are likely to struggle in first-year college courses in all four of those subject areas. Another 15 percent met only one of the benchmarks, while 17 percent met just two. In short, a total of 60 percent met no more than two of the four benchmarks.  Only 25 percent of tested 2012 grads met all four ACT benchmarks, unchanged from last year.

College readiness levels remain particularly low among African American and Hispanic students. None of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks were met by more than half of students in those racial/ethnic groups. In contrast, the majority of Asian American and white students met or surpassed the benchmarks in all areas except science.

The full national report and each state ACT report can be viewed and downloaded for free on ACT's website.